As part of the 5th Pharmacy Guild-Government Agreement, the Government is requiring a more rigorous evaluation of the programs enacted under the 5CPA.
The two parties are in the process of developing an evaluation framework that will form the basis of the evaluation and discussions around any further CPAs.
However, there are concerns around the breadth of consultation outlined in the evaluation framework.
The pharmacy division of APESMA has joined eight other health bodies in writing to the Commonwealth Government raising concerns about the evaluation of the fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. These include Consumer Health Forum, canSpeak, Chronic Illness Alliance, Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Public Health Association of Australia, MS Australia, and SHPA.
APESMA shares concerns about:
• The lack of engagement with key stakeholders in the evaluation of certain elements of the Agreement, particularly in the evaluation of governance arrangements;
• The lack of clarity around timeframes for evaluation;
• The narrow scope of evaluation questions;
• The lack of consideration of how the Agreement is facilitating community pharmacy’s integration with broader health reform processes; and
• The evaluation of other agreements negotiated with the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement.
CEO of APESMA Chris Walton said APESMA had long argued for pharmacists to have a greater role in community health care teams as part of APESMA’s goal of re-professionalising the role of community pharmacists.
“It is clear that the pharmacy owners’ Guild through its unswerving support of the current model and refusal to even consider other more positive options is not doing enough to integrate pharmacists in the broader health reform process,” Mr Walton said.
“We believe that the evaluation process could be improved by bringing in more organisations that represent pharmacists and pharmacy consumers. The Guild has simply sat on their hands while real reforms have been extended to other types of health professionals.
“Pharmacists are respected for their training and expertise and should provide their skills to help Australian patients – not just fill scripts.
“If we can demonstrate our abilities we stand a greater chance of being paid appropriately for our work.”
Mr Walton called on the Commonwealth Government to create a wider reference group including feedback from – recognised consumer groups – that could embrace health reform to capitalise on the skills of all pharmacists.